Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas, Christmas Time Is Here....

My son has many ideas for Christmas merry making.

Ryan: "Let's go to Lowe's and buy some stuff for outside. My friend has deers that move and a blow-up that looks like a snow globe. Also, I saw polar bears. Also, we've never had a blow-up Santa or Snoopy. And did you see the house that has blinking lights around the WHOLE ROOF??"

No, I didn't, son. But don't let that stop you from giving me things to feel bad about.

Ryan: "Let's go to Michael's (arts and crafts) and get a new thing for our village."

"Let's go to Target and see what decorations they have."

"Let's decorate outside."
"Let's decorate inside."
"Let's make Christmas cookies."

When it comes to Christmas activities, Ryan is good for shopping expeditions. Spending my money is one of his favorite activities. After that, his feeling is: participation optional.
We went to Lowe's the week after Thanksgiving, and it was out of everything but a
pink light-up deer.

Ryan: "I'm not a girl. Let's go."

So we went to Michael's and got the last of the lighted candy canes.

Ryan: "This isn't enough! We HAVE to go to Target. We SHOULD HAVE done this BEFORE Black Friday. Everybody is out of EVERYTHING!!"

Ryan Salfino, retail analyst.

Target yielded a fe w more items, enough to keep Ryan happy. My kids know we're never going to be a destination holiday house. We'll never have moving trains, disco icicle lights dripping from the roof and a synchronized musical
light show on our front lawn. Not as long as I'm drug free, anyway.

We get home and Ryan says, "Okay, let's put this up, Mom."

By "let's," Ryan really means, "Have at it, Mom." Because when you're 10, you've got bigger fish to fry. Like Xbox "Black Ops." What 5th grade boy has the time to deal with tangled lights, extension cords, timers, tangled lights, frozen fingers, duct taping exposed outlets, #@*! tangled lights?

Ryan: "Call me when you're plugging in the candy canes."

Me: "Where are YOU going?"

Ryan, running into the house: "Well, Dad was working before so I couldn't go on Xbox, and all my friends are on it today so I just wanna see...."

Ryan Salfino, delegator.

A few days later, when there was a break between pouring rain and freezing temperatures, I got Mike to bring in the massive tubs of Christmas decorations.

My sister and I had a long conversation about how we're both cutting back on how many decorations we put up. "It's too much. What's the point?"

Two days later... all the same stuff plus a few new items are up.

At the end of Day Two of Christmas Decorating, I was wading through empty tubs, putting away the hammer (a ubiquitous Christmas tool), the screw drivers (really, don't ask) and bringing all the extra decorations downstairs to decorate my office space, when Ryan catches me in a near-down moment.

Ryan: "When are we doing Christmas cookies? Can we go to the store and get stuff for oatmeal cookies and gingerbread cookies and...."

Me: "Why don't you help me put this stuff away and decorate the basement?"

Ryan, running up to the attic TV: "Wait. My friends are on Xbox and I have to just do this one round and then...."

WE will start the cookies any day now....